Employe may appear to be a misspelling, but it was an intentional change to the traditional spelling of employee by General Motors. General Motors conducted a study and determined that the company would save money in printing costs by using less ink with the elimination of one e from the end of employee. This practice extended into their productions of slideshows and multimedia presentations. However, the current website for General Motors does not reflect this policy.

An alternative explanation can be found in a footnote in a decision by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Before about 1999, many Wisconsin statutes used the term employe rather than employee. In a footnote in a published decision, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals quoted a University of Wisconsin law school professor whose father had been involved in drafting much of Wisconsin's labor legislation that had used the "employe" spelling. The professor recalled that his father had explained that the e and r keys were next to each other on the typwriter keyboard, and that he was concerned about the risk that the word employer might be typed as "employee" and vice-versa. To avoid the potential problem, he decided to use the spelling "employe." (Richland Sch. Dist. v. DILHR, 166 Wis. 2d 262 at n. 1 (Wis. Ct. App. 1991).

Other occurrences of employe Edit

A simple search on a search engine will reval a plethora of links to the use of employe instead of the traditional employee.

The 1955 publishing of The Oxford Universal Dictionary lists employé as the proper spelling, employée as feminine, and employee as a U.S. employé.

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